If you are thinking of seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one, you are not alone. The number of people suffering from addiction in America is astounding. Let’s take a look at some numbers starting with adolescents.

Quick Facts on Drug Addiction
  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017.1
  • Almost 74% of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled with an alcohol use disorder.1
  • About 38% of adults in 2017 battled an illicit drug use disorder.1
  • That same year, 1 out of every 8 adults struggled with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.1
  • In 2017, 8.5 million American adults suffered from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders.1
  • Drug abuse and addiction cost American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime-related costs.2
Causes of Addiction
  • Genetics, including the impact of one’s environment on gene expression, account for about 40% to 60% of a person’s risk of addiction.3
  • Environmental factors that may increase a person’s risk of addiction include a chaotic home environment and abuse, parent’s drug use and attitude toward drugs, peer influences, community attitudes toward drugs, and poor academic achievement.3
  • Teenagers and people with mental health disorders are more at risk for drug use and addiction than other populations.3

 

 

Statistics on Specific Population Demographics and Addiction
Adolescents (aged 12-17):
  • In 2017, approximately 4% of the American adolescent population age 12 to 17 suffered from a substance use disorder; this equals 992,000 teens or 1 in 25 people in this age group.1
  • About 443,000 adolescents age 12 to 17 had an alcohol use disorder in 2017, or 1.8% of adolescents.1
  • An estimated 741,000 adolescents suffered from an illicit drug use disorder in 2017, or about 3% of this population.1

Young adults aged 18-25:

  • About 5.1 million young adults age 18 to 25 battled a substance use disorder in 2017, which equates to 14.8% of this population and about 1 in 7 people.1
  • About 3.4 million young adults age 18 to 25 had an alcohol use disorder in 2017, or about 10% of young adults.1
  • About 2.5 million young adults had an illicit drug use disorder in 2017, or about 7.3% of this population.1
  • Heroin use among young adults between 18 and 25 years old doubled in the past decade.4

Over age 26:

  • Approximately 13.6 million adults age 26 or older struggled with a substance use disorder in 2017, or 6.4% of this age group.1
  • About 10.6 million adults age 26 and older had an alcohol use disorder in 2017, or about 5% of this age group.1
  • About 4.3 million adults age 26 or older had an illicit drug use disorder in 2017, or 2% of this age group.1

Elderly individuals:

  • More than 1 million elderly adults age 65 or older had a substance use disorder in 2017.7
  • That same year, about 978,000 of people in this age group had an alcohol use disorder and about 93,000 had an illicit drug use disorder.7
  • Two-thirds of the senior citizens over the age of 65 who struggle with alcohol use disorders developed the disorder before age 65.6
  • Between 21% and 66% of elderly individuals battling a substance use disorder also suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorder.6

Men vs. women:

  • In 2017, about 9.4% of men and 5.2% of women age 12 and older had a substance use disorder.7
  • Men may be more likely to abuse illicit drugs than women, but women may be just as prone to addiction as men when they do abuse them.8

Ethnicity/race:

  • American Indians and Alaska Natives age 12 and older had the highest rate of substance abuse and dependence in 2017, at 12.8%.7
  • Whites had a 7.7% rate of substance abuse in 2017.
  • About 6.8% percent of African Americans struggled with substance use disorders, while the percentage of Hispanics or Latinos who suffered from substance use disorders was 6.6%.7
  • Approximately 4.6% percent of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders suffered from substance use disorders.7
  • Asian Americans had the lowest rate of substance use disorders at 3.8%.7

Criminal justice/employment status:

  • Almost twice as many people who are unemployed struggle with addiction than those who are full-time workers, CNN Money reports around 17% of the unemployed and 9% of the employed population struggle with a substance use disorder.9
  • Of the 2.3 million people in American prisons and jails, more than 65% meet the criteria for addiction.10
  • Around 75% of individuals in a state prison or local jail who suffer from a mental illness also struggle with substance abuse, and the opposite is also true.11

 

Statistics on Addiction Treatment

  • In 2017, an estimated 20.7 million people age 12 and older needed treatment for a substance use disorder. Only 4 million people received treatment, or about 19% of those who needed it.1
  • In 2017, of the more than 18 million people who needed but did not receive treatment for substance use, only 1 million, or 5.7%, of those people felt they needed treatment.1
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has more than 120,000 groups in more than 175 countries around the world, with more than 2 million members.17
  • There are over 14,500 specialized substance abuse treatment facilities in the United States providing a variety of care options, including counseling, behavioral therapy, medication, case management, and other forms of care.18
  • The relapse rate for substance use disorders is estimated to be between 40% and 60%. This rate is similar to rates of relapse for other chronic diseases such as hypertension or asthma.19
  • Addiction is considered a highly treatable disease, and recovery is attainable. About 10% of American adults who are at least 18 years old say they are in recovery from an alcohol or drug abuse issue.20

 

Source: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics